Tips for Treating Sensitive Teeth

If you have sensitive teeth, it can really take the joy out of your daily life. From passing up your favorite foods like hot coffee and ice cream to experiencing discomfort during hot or cold weather, sensitive teeth affect more than just your mouth. This condition can really affect your mood too. But thankfully you don’t have to simply accept the discomfort and inconvenience of sensitive teeth. Here are some lifestyle changes you can make that may go a long way toward lessening the pain of sensitive teeth, so you can get back to enjoying the foods and activities you love without the sensitivity!

Change How You Brush

Yes, there is a wrong way and a right way to brush your teeth. If you are brushing your teeth too hard, brushing your gums, or brushing back and forth, you could be harming the gums and causing gum recession. Gum recession in turn can cause – you guessed it – sensitive teeth. If this sounds like how you’re brushing, try this instead: Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and brush in small circular motions. If you need a demo, ask Dr. Lesko and her team at your next appointment.

Change What You Brush With

Sometimes we may be brushing the right way, but with the wrong brush. This is an easy fix. Stick with a medium to soft-bristled brush and follow the brushing guidelines above. Save those hard-bristled brushes for your tile grout!

Change Your Toothpaste

If you are experiencing sensitivity but not using a sensitive toothpaste, it may be time to switch. Sensitive toothpaste is made with an ingredient called potassium nitrate, which is used to fill in the tiny pores in the teeth called tubules. These tubules lead to the nerves, so when they’re blocked, you can actually prevent hot and cold foods and air from reaching those nerves. It’s kind of like how the insulation in your walls blocks the outside weather from getting inside your home.

Change Your Diet

While you shouldn’t have to change your diet to accommodate tooth sensitivity, there are certain foods that forgoing may make it easier to live life pain free. Foods that are high in acid such as citrus and soda or foods that are high in sugar may make sensitivity worse, so eliminating these where you can from your diet may enable you to enjoy other foods again.

Ready to make an appointment to talk about your tooth sensitivity? Call Dr. Lesko’s office today at 970-812-0355.

Protect Teeth While Swimming This Summer

It’s fun, it’s refreshing and it’s one of America’s favorite summer pastimes: swimming in the pool. Swimming provides the body with heart-pumping yet low-impact exercise that’s gentle on the joints. It also can improve muscle tone and body strength and constitutes a full-body workout. But for all the good swimming does for our bodies, it could be doing harm to one particular area of the body: the mouth. Here’s why swimming can be dangerous to your oral health, and what you can do to protect yourself while making a splash this summer.

Swimmer’s Calculus

No, its not a special math class for pool lovers. Swimmer’s calculus is a type of buildup that occurs on the teeth from the raised pH of chlorine and chemicals found in pool water. Swimmer’s calculus builds up over the summer, especially if you spend more than an hour in the pool at a time. Swimmer’s calculus appears as deposits of yellow on the teeth. Though it may be unsightly, thankfully swimmer’s calculus is temporary and can be removed by going to the dentist for your regular cleaning

Chlorine and Your Teeth

Chlorine can be a useful chemical when it comes to keeping the water in your pool clean and free of germs and bacteria, but it can also take a toll on your skin, causing it to dry out. It can even discolor and dry out your hair, irritate your eyes, and burn your lungs. But it can also cause problems in the mouth – namely sensitive teeth.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, pools with a pH of lower than 7.0 pose the highest risk to your teeth, including enamel erosion. Enamel erosion occurs when the enamel of the teeth wears away, exposing the lower layers of the tooth known as the dentin. Aside from being unsightly, this can cause tooth sensitivity. Worse yet, enamel does not grow back, so fixing enamel erosion may require sealants, veneers or even a procedure called gum grafting, which can help raise the gumline and reduce sensitivity along the gums.

An Ounce of Prevention

So how can you prevent swimmer’s calculus and enamel erosion due to chlorine? Try to not ingest or get pool water in your mouth. Keep your mouth closed while swimming, diving or standing in the water. When you are done in the water, rinse your mouth out with fresh tap water or bottled water, and apply the same rules as you would to brushing after eating an acidic food. Wait at least 30 minutes after exiting the pool to brush your teeth so the enamel has a chance to reharden.

For questions or concerns or to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Lesko’s office at 970-812-0355.

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

Tooth sensitivity can come as quite a jolt to the system, especially if you’ve never experienced sensitivity before. For those who do experience sensitivity, it can easily ruin a favorite meal or activity and keep you from enjoying the things you love. Here are some top causes of tooth sensitivity and how you can stop it.

Brushing Too Hard

It seems counterintuitive that brushing too hard or with too-hard brush bristles is possible, but it is. Not only is it possible, but it can also cause damage to your tooth enamel and in turn cause tooth sensitivity. The solution is gentler brushing and a softer-bristled brush.

Cavities / Broken Teeth

Because sensitivity is caused in the roots and dentin of your teeth, it makes sense that when exposed or injured, these parts of your teeth may have painful, heightened sensitivity. Thankfully, a trip to Dr. Lesko’s office can get your teeth repaired and restored, and the sensitivity should subside.

Receding Gums

Receding gums expose the roots of your teeth at the gum line, causing pain and sensitivity. Often, this can be eased by flossing more frequently, or by getting a gum deep-cleaning procedure. In some more severe cases, a gum graft may be required to repair the gums and re-cover the roots of the teeth along the gum line.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lesko, please call 970-812-0355.